Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bread of Life: Part II - Fellowship with God Above All Else
The hunger inside of us to seek after God is a product of the loss of fellowship with the Creator that came into the world when Adam and Eve sinned against Him in the garden of Eden.  How great was that loss for them and then to all of us who are their descendents!  But thanks be to God that He prepared a way to be reconciled to Him through His son, Jesus Christ!  To be in fellowship with God is to be fully satisfied in your soul.  Do you have this peace?  Yes or no?  Are you arrested with worry instead of being at rest in the love of God?  Jesus addressed not being worried (or "anxious" or "taking thought") frequently in the Gospels.  He addressed this to all of His disciples lovingly in the Sermon on the Mount:
Matthew 6:25-34 KJV 
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  (26)  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?  (27)  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  (28)  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:  (29)  And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  (30)  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?  (31)  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (32)  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  (33)  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  (34)  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Notice how Jesus didn't tell His disciples to do anything else other than to seek His fellowship?  How great is our God that tells us to exchange our worry with seeking His fellowship!  Another great example from Scripture about fellowship with God being ahead of everything else is the story that the Gospel of Luke recounts about Mary and Martha:
Luke 10:38-42 KJV 
Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.  (39)  And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.  (40)  But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.  (41)  And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:  (42)  But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
As you can see, those that seek after Him and His righteousness are the ones that labor to enter into the rest of God and it is exactly what Jesus commanded those who followed Him to Capernaum, after the miracle of feeding the multitude, to do.  (John 6:27)  The people, upon hearing this command, immediately asked Jesus what it was that they must do to be doing the works of God.  (John 6:28)  What is interesting is that by asking Jesus what they must do, they are testifying to the fact that they understand that there is a separation that exists between God and humanity.  They are testifying that they understand that there is a chasm that exists due to sin and, therefore, they want to know what they can do to close that gap.

Clearly, they did not understand the terms that Jesus offered them even when he told it to them plainly in verse 27, and so, Jesus corrects them once again and tells them that the only work that they can do is to believe in Him.  (John 6:29)

What happens next is truly astounding.  They ask Him for proof of His authority and bring up the miracle of God providing Manna in the desert for the children of Israel.  These are the same people that had just eaten bread and fish that fed over 5,000 people the day before provided by Jesus!  This feeding of the multitude is a miracle that was not refuted then nor can it be explained by science now.  It is clear from Scripture that these people filled their bellies with real food provided by Jesus, in the middle of nowhere, from 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.  (John 6:4-14)  And yet, they still wallowed in unbelief even though they were witnesses to so great a miracle.  A miracle that was so astounding that there were witnesses there that pondered in their hearts to immediately make Jesus king.  (John 6:14-15)  Nevertheless, Jesus took the opportunity to teach a great spiritual truth to all who had ears to hear.

Jesus declared that just as God the Father provided the Manna for their ancestors in the desert so also did God the Father provide the true bread of heaven that brings life to the world.  (John 6:32-33)  How the people responded next is a testimony to the hunger that is inside all of those that are lost.  They ask for the bread but fail to ask for fellowship with the one that provides the bread.  Therefore, Jesus responds by saying:
John 6:35 KJV 
...I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
 In essence, He is telling them I am what matters.  I am the One that you hunger for and there is no other in which you will find the cure for that hunger.  Stop seeking after what perishes with its usage and get on board with Him who is able to sustain you eternally. 

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